Lifeboats called to sinking yacht

Three people aboard a sinking yacht were brought safely to shore last week thanks to the combined efforts of the coastguard, the St Abbs and Eyemouth RNLI lifeboats, and a rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer.

The 33-foot yacht, Horus, was taking on water 17 miles off the Berwickshire coast. After battling unsuccessfully to stem the flow of water for two hours, the crew put in a Mayday call for assistance.

A rescue mission was launched after coastguard officers at Forth Coastguard Marine Rescue Coordination Centre received an emergency distress call on the VHF Radio.

St Abbs RNLI inshore lifeboat and Eyemouth RNLI all-weather lifeboat, as well as the rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer, were all immediately launched to the assistance of the yacht.

The crew were not initially sure of their exact position. They knew only that they were 17 miles offshore between St Abbs and Eyemouth.

Paul Crowe, senior helmsman at St Abbs RNLI, said: “The initial tasking of locating the yacht before we could assist them was a challenge due to the severe amount of search area to cover between St Abbs and Eyemouth, but we found them 17 miles offshore.”

When the Eyemouth lifeboat arrived, a salvage pump and two crew were transferred to the yacht as a precaution, releasing the St Abbs crew man who had initially gone aboard to make an assessment of the extent of the flooding and to offer assistance. The Eyemouth crew escorted the yacht back to harbour.

The crew had worked for two hours prior to their mayday call to stem the flow of water, but once it reached a foot in depth they alerted the emergency services and were grateful for all the assistance shown by both crews.